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The records of more than a million people who worked in the Merchant Navy can now be explored online following the completion of a major digitisation project
The records of more than a million people who worked in the Merchant Navy can now be explored online following the completion of a major digitisation project.
The new collection, available at www.findmypast.co.uk, has been taken from a register held at The National Archives. The entries document men and women employed in commercial shipping between 1918 and 1941 and feature a range of details including name, date and place of birth, rating and physical description. In many cases, a passport-style photograph was included with the original records and can be viewed online.
“Being a merchant seaman was not necessarily a job for life – many people signed up for casual labour in a range of roles including engineer, waiter and cook,” says findmypast.co.uk’s Amy Sell. “There may be a family rumour that an ancestor ‘went to sea’, leading researchers to assume that they served in the Royal Navy and getting stumped when a record can’t be found. These records will therefore offer a new avenue of research.”
For expert tips on getting the most from the new collection, don't miss the October issue of Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, on sale now – click here for more details.